CAR Continues to Be Vigilant at the Capitol
By Liz Peetz, CAR VP of Government Affairs
In these unconventional times when we are facing enormous obstacles to our daily lives to pursue our businesses, support our families, or try to have honest conversations about what is happening around the country, I am reminded of the powerful words of historian Doris Kerns Goodwin; “Progress goes up and down throughout history, but the most important changes in the country come from the ground up.”
More than ever, CAR has been on the frontlines at the Capitol this year protecting property rights, the ability for REALTORS® to operate, and dealing with budgetary deficits that haven’t been seen in many years in Colorado. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the course of these frenetic couple of months, it is that we have to be vigilant.
We also have to take note of what we have accomplished. I want to highlight a few of CAR’s biggest legislative and advocacy successes this year. These could be called CAR’s Significant Seven because they rank amongst many other hard-fought wins and battles in advocacy.
- Ensured real estate was declared essential by Governor Polis, and this paved the way for showings and open houses to continue.
- Prevented property taxes from quadrupling for short-term rentals being classified as commercial property rather than residential property. (SB-109 status died in committee).
- Passed permanent remote notary authorization that protects consumer data privacy (SB 096 status: signed into law).
- Amended a tax bill that would have harmed small businesses by taking away tax benefits for independent contractors if they make at least $75,000 annually (HB-1420 status amended to higher threshold of $500,000 for single filers and sent to Governor).
- Protected mom and pop landlords and ensured regular processes, such as credit checks, HUD processing delays, and other aspects of business operations do not put housing providers at risk for additional litigation (SB 224, HB 1332 passed and sent to Governor).
- We ensured consumers will receive education about solar installations that are leased and purchased so they can make informed decisions (HB 1155 sent to Governor).
- Allowed local governments to delay, waive, or suspend interest on property taxes (HB 1421 was signed into law).
An overview of the recent legislative session, including highlights of CAR’s priority legislation and COVID-19 advocacy, are covered in the 2020 Legislative Review. You will see how CAR, through the tireless efforts of LPC members, was able to accomplish some long-sought goals during this unique and unpredictable legislative session.
As the country’s attention turns to the elections this November, your CAR Government Affairs team will be working hard with Colorado REALTORS® to prepare for the 2021 legislative session to ensure their voices are heard.